Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Comment on Proposed BATFE Ammunition Ban

M855 Ammunition Banning ATF
M855 Ammunition Banning ATF
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Washington, DC -( Recently, Governors Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) and Terry Branstad (R-IA), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC), issued a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), strongly supporting the agency’s decision on March 10, to table a recent framework that would have banned one of the most commonly used rounds by recreational shooters.

The proposed framework would have repealed the exemption of common M855 (5.56 x 45mm) ammunition from the “armor piercing” classification previously granted to the popular round, as it was recognized that the rounds are most commonly used for sporting purposes. In their letter, the GSC Co-Chairs urged BATFE to “consider removing M855 ammunition from the ‘armor piercing’ classification entirely, as it does not meet either of the two criteria set forth for being designated ‘armor piercing.’”

Governors Branstad and Tomblin, along with the hunting and recreational shooting communities, expressed concern over the implications the proposed framework would have on funding for conservation and state fish and wildlife management agencies. Bans or restrictions on a widely used round like the M855 could very likely result in depressed ammunition sales and a subsequent decline in excise tax revenues collected from the sale of such ammunition, which would mean reduced funding for professional state fish and wildlife management.

Tomblin and Branstad further urged BATFE to maintain an open dialogue with their respective offices and with state fish and wildlife agencies, and that they, “strongly encourage BATFE to consider the impacts of policies that would jeopardize state fish and wildlife agencies’ access to revenue that is dedicated to protecting public trust resources through professional wildlife management.”

Formed in 2009, and currently with 30 members, the GSC is a bipartisan caucus of governors formed to protect and advance the interests of America’s sportsmen and women, and advance professional fish and wildlife management policy. The GSC facilitates communication and information exchange between participating offices in support of policies and regulations that protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping.

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About CSF

Since 1989 the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping. The unique and collective force of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the interests of America’s hunters and anglers.

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